To listen to some commentators a few weeks ago, you’d have thought it was only EU membership – not shared interests and values – that brings allies together.
That means commissioning physical and digital infrastructure and recruiting necessary personnel. It also means offering tangible reassurance to business.
“We think that the future relationship with Britain needs to be about more than trade and economics”.
A bit of romantic rhetoric from Brussels cannot change the fact that their only offers – before and after we voted Leave – have been provocatively unacceptable.
Each one of us will have a vote on any deal – and 73 MEPs may well be crucial to passing it.
Plus: We’ll never know the truth about the rebels’ motives. If you have fewer MPs, you must also have fewer Ministers. And: doesn’t Steve Baker have a fine head of hair?
The run-up to the European Council meetings next week could decide the future of the negotiations.
A sensible solution is achievable, but unnecessary brinksmanship and over-the-top rhetoric helps nobody.
The Prime Minister is right to be optimistic about our future relationship with the EU, but we must be ready for every eventuality.
The famous photo of the EU’s negotiator sitting with a pile of papers was misinterpreted. Those were the order that limit his scope.
The policy paper provides welcome clarity, but it’s time the Treasury gave up on the fiendishly difficult model it prefers.
The British media is busy taking revenge on the Prime Minister, while neglecting continental politics.
For both sides, this is a new kind of deal-making. Although Britain is still a member, this is not an internal negotiation in which the UK can be outgunned and outvoted:
Tusk’s statement last week responding to Article 50 struck the right tone. It was measured, matter of fact and avoided confrontation.
Our folk memory of World War Two is based as much in cinematic fiction as in real history. But that’s pretty hard to explain to our European neighbours.